When Maruti Suzuki launched the first-generation, Swift, in 2005, no one except the manufacturer themselves had the idea that the car would go on production and sale for more than 15 years. However, the company took the risk and it paid off in the long run for the company as well as for its customers. Till 2017, before the 3rd generation, Swift was launched Maruti Suzuki had already sold 12,02,119 units—at a little under 2 lakh units per year. A truly spectacular feat by a single car model. Let us look at the ways how this car became highly successful.
In 2005, the market was dominated by Maruti 800, and Alto was slowly capturing the market. Other rivals too had the same basic looks and features on offer. The entry-level segment was never about features and looks and the Swift planned to change the same. When all other manufacturers were making their car compact and tiny, Swift went ahead with Space and Size. Curves throughout the body panels made the car stand out in the Indian Market and the Young customers raced to own one. After the Launch, the success of Swift was pretty evident.
In a little over one year, Maruti sold 53,171 units of the car. On January 24, 2007, Swift got a diesel engine, and sales shot up further. By the time the second generation Swift came in August 2011, it was one of India’s largest selling cars, with total sales of 5,72,824 units in six years. Bold and muscular looks were the standing point of this car and differentiated it from its Rivals.
The third-generation Swift is built on Suzuki’s fifth-generation Heartect platform, which ensures more strength and rigidity, and helps improve the power-to-weight ratio. It is 40mm wider than the previous model and has a 20mm longer wheelbase, allowing more cabin space, headroom as well as luggage area.
The entry-level cars those days provided only the basic bare essentials. But Swift changed everything after its launch. It promised to provide sedan comfort under Rs. 4 lakh. In a market where price played a major role in those days, people took an immediate liking to the car. The car had a feel of Europe in it and felt premium compared to its rivals. All the 3 generations provided segment-best interior and features and improved them gradually over its competitors.
A major change in the third generation Swift is the two-pedal technology—both diesel and petrol get the Auto Gear Shift (AGS) technology, or AMT, as an option. Other changes are driver-oriented cockpit design, flat-bottom steering wheel and bolstered seats; dual airbags and ABS with EBD and ISOFIX (child seat restraint system) are now standard.
Engine and Performance
“The car runs butter smooth”, this is what all its customers said. Both Petrol and Diesel Engines performed well and were never a hassle to maintain. Moreover, the serviceability of Maruti Suzuki was never under the radar with the availability of spare parts throughout the car.
Even if you managed to break down in your car in a small town, you would easily find the spare part of Swift. The car sold in large numbers and the customers demanded this from the manufacturer. The third-generation Swift diesel now returns 28.4kpl, while the petrol delivers 22kpl. The new Swift also has a 10% better acceleration performance than the previous model.
Maruti Suzuki Swift has been one of the top cars in terms of resale value. Before you even bought the car, you could rest assured that the car would re-sale at a very good price.
A second top model Swift was available in the price of a new Alto and customers always chose the Swift. The car became highly popular in the market and destroyed its competition. The majority of customers never wanted to sell their car and held on to them for a long time.
The market when Swift was launched stereotyped entry-level cars to be small, compact, economical, reliable, and basic in features but the Swift broke all the barriers and became an undisputed leader of the segment. Maruti took the road less taken and succeeded with it.